Insider's Guide to Antarctica

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  • Location: Punta Arenas, Chile
  • Duration:  11 days (approx.)
Be mesmerized by the icy-blue hues of icebergs in the Southern Ocean on this 11-day expedition by cruise ship to the vast continent of Antarctica, including a crossing of the Antarctic Circle! Fly round-trip from Punta Arenas to King George Island, one of the Southern Shetland Islands, and bypass the rough seas of the Drake Passage. Then, board your cruise vessel for an adventure of a lifetime, with day trips by Zodiac to view marvelous ice-sculpted landscapes with expert guides.

Highlights

  • 11-day Antarctica tour from Punta Arenas, with an 8-night cruise through the Antarctic Circle
  • Bypass the Drake Passage with a round-trip flight to and from King George Island
  • See seals, whales and icebergs in the Southern Ocean with expert guides
  • Explore the frozen landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands by Zodiac
  • Watch Antarctica's famous penguins as they waddle around on the ice!
  • Stay for two nights in Punta Arenas, Chile’s southernmost town
  • Enjoy onboard presentations to learn more about Antarctica's environment and wildlife

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

11-Day Antarctica Cruise from Punta Arenas: Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland and the Antarctic Circle

Get up close to Arctic wildlife!

Your once-in-a-lifetime voyage to see the icy splendor of Antarctica includes numerous shore landings by Zodiac. Spot a variety of whales and other fantastic wildlife on your journey through the Southern Ocean. You’ll never forget the penguins that amuse you with their antics!

Your 11-day Antarctica journey includes onboard presentations by a knowledgeable and professional crew who have rich backgrounds in marine biology, history, geology and more. Also enjoy 29 meals and round-trip airfare from Punta Arenas to King George Island. Enjoy eight nights accommodation in double or triple cabins aboard the cruise ship, which holds a maximum of 122 passengers, plus two nights accommodation in Punta Arenas.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Punta Arenas (D)
Starting from Punta Arenas, Chile’s southernmost town, settle in at your hotel and prepare for the icy expedition ahead. With time to spend at leisure, stroll the city streets and climb La Cruz Hill for a panoramic vista, or head to one of the museums or eateries in town. If you arrive early in the day, consider visiting the nearby penguin colony (own expense) before your trip briefing and a welcome dinner in the evening.

Overnight: hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas

Day 2: Punta Arenas – King George Island (B, L, D)
Enjoy a scenic flight over the Drake Passage and be spared the unpredictability of the rough waters. Your flight spans just a few hours and provides magnificent views on a clear day of the icy terrain below.

Touch down on King George Island (Isla Rey Jorge), the largest of the volcanic South Shetland Islands, and spend some time exploring the area with your guides. This glaciated landmass, which lies just 75 miles (120 km) off the coast of Antarctica in the Southern Ocean, supports the civilian settlement of Villa Las Estrellas as well as an abundance of wildlife.

As you venture into the pristine landscape, keep an eye out for a variety of seals and penguins. Then, hop on a Zodiac for the first of many rides to the ship, which will be your comfortable abode for the next seven days.

Overnight: cabin accommodation aboard the cruise ship

Day 3-5: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands (B, L, D)
Awaken to your first sighting of Antarctica as your cruise ship approaches the colossal landmass. Enjoy fantastic photo opportunities from the deck as you admire the stunning exhibit of blue-tinged icebergs in the azure waters of the Southern Ocean – blanketed by sheets of white.

Spend the next few days learning from onboard experts about the frosty continent and its inhabitants. Each day, you’ll speed away in Zodiacs (dependent on weather conditions) and set foot on the ice. Marvel at the extraordinary wildlife of this seemingly inhospitable landscape as you enjoy a range of unique adventures – from hiking across the continent’s icy surface to riding to historical sites.

You’ll be mesmerized by the allure of Antarctica, home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of wildlife – undisturbed by human contact. On your Zodiac expeditions from cruise ship to continent, your guide will point out chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins, as well as fur, crabeater and Weddell seals. Look for extraordinary minke and humpback whales that make the South Pole their home.

Overnight: cabin accommodation aboard the cruise ship

Day 6-7: The Antarctic Circle (B, L, D)
Raise a glass to the crossing of the Antarctic Circle, a feat achieved by very few. Camera in hand, marvel at the mesmerizing icebergs and fantastical ice formations that reflect the most spectacular hues of blue. Keep an eye out for the antics of Weddell seals, penguins and the myriad forms of birdlife that inhabit this rarely visited part of the world.

Overnight: cabin accommodation aboard the cruise ship

Day 8-9: Antarctic Peninsula (B, L, D)
Journey north along the western Antarctic Peninsula toward the Drake Passage, and take twice-daily Zodiac trips (depending on weather) to explore more of Antarctica’s frozen landscape. Be ready to spot whales, seals and penguins swimming in the icy southern waters.

Overnight: cabin accommodation aboard the cruise ship

Day 10: King George Island – Punta Arenas (B, L, D)
Returning to King George Island, say farewell to the ship crew and take to the skies over the formidable Drake Passage. When you arrive in Punta Arenas, settle in at your hotel and enjoy a final group meal, swapping stories and photos of your once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Overnight: hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas

Day 11: Punta Arenas (B)
After breakfast, say good-bye to your fellow travelers in Punta Arenas. Or, stick around and travel further north to explore the incredible national parks and landscapes of southern Chile.
From USD $ 10,994.99

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Tour code: 5891GQMT

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